National Parks work to protect bats and their habitats

Release Date: October 26, 2015
Contacts: Kristy Burnett, kristy_burnett@partner.nps.gov, 970-267-7205

FORT COLLINS – From monitoring the health of bat populations to minimizing the human spread of the deadly fungus that causes white-nose syndrome (WNS), the National Park Service (NPS) has 43 projects underway in more than 40 parks to protect and preserve bats and their habitats. Park personnel undertake a variety of tasks to safeguard bats, their hibernacula, and maternity roosts from WNS, a fungal disease decimating up to 100% of some bat colonies. The NPS dedicated $3 million to address WNS-related priority issues in parks across the country.

“We’re excited to see the creative solutions from parks to fight white-nose syndrome,” said Margaret Wild, chief veterinarian for the National Park Service. “From installing bat gates to using acoustic surveys, resource managers employed techniques that best fit the needs of their parks. The rapid spread of WNS and its high mortality are unprecedented in bats, so a multi-pronged approach to manage it is critical.” (see attachment for full press release)